Frenchman Griezmann reveals soft spot for Uruguay

Nov 30, 2022; Al Rayyan, Qatar; France forward Antoine Griezmann (7) passes the ball during the second half against Tunisia in a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Education City Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 1 (Reuters) - France striker Antoine Griezmann has been following Uruguay closely at the World Cup and hopes coach Diego Alonso can lead the team to the knockout stages.

Griezmann, whose last-gasp equaliser was disallowed in France's 1-0 defeat by Tunisia on Wednesday, has joined in the anguish of Uruguayan fans who remain on the brink of elimination after losing to Portugal on Monday.

"I watched the whole games with tremendous tension," he told ESPN. "I hope they qualify… Uruguay noma!"

The French forward added he is proud of his former team mate and Uruguay's centre back Diego Godin who recovered in time for the World Cup from a knee injury.

"I saw him in Madrid working hard, he had a lot of pain in his knees and, in the end, he is here and that fills me with pride."

Griezmann, 31, has previously expressed his fondness for the South American country after befriending Uruguayan players Cristian Rodriguez and Jose Maria Gimenez at Atletico Madrid.

The 2018 World Cup champion said he drinks mate every day, snacks on "dulce de leche", listens to Uruguayan music, and is a big fan of Penarol.

Uruguay face Ghana in their final Group H clash on Friday. With one point from two matches and not a single goal scored, "La Celeste" need to win to have any chance of reaching the last 16 in Qatar.

Reporting by Angelica Medina in Mexico City, editing by Ed Osmond

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